Lassi, a traditional yogurt-based drink popular in northern India, is a refreshing and delicious way to beat the scorching heat of the Indian summer.
While the drink originated in Punjab, it is now enjoyed all over the world. Lassi is made by mixing plain full-fat yogurt, water, and ice in a 1:1:1 ratio and then seasoning it.
This simple production process allows for endless variations, making it a versatile beverage that can be enjoyed as breakfast, a snack, or even an after-meal digestive drink.
There are two basic types of lassi: sweet and savory.
While store-bought yogurt can be used, it is always best to make your own fresh yogurt for a fuller and richer flavor.
The following are some common sweet and salty variations of lassi found in India:
Sweet Lassi: This is the most straightforward version of lassi, made by adding sugar to plain yogurt. It is a popular beverage for both adults and children.
Mango Lassi: Made with fresh mango, this fruity variation is a popular choice. It is often sweet enough that it does not require additional sugar. Other fruit-flavored lassis, such as strawberries and bananas, are also available.
Salted Lassi: To make this version, simply add salt to plain yogurt. This variation highlights the salty side of yogurt.
Mint Lassi: Made with fresh mint, this lassi is refreshing and pairs well with rich Indian dishes.
Namkeen Lassi: This salty lassi is made with salt, black pepper, and cumin. The addition of black pepper adds a bright and neutral aroma, while cumin provides a grassy smell.
Spice Lassi: This savory lassi is the most complex, made with ingredients commonly used in South Indian cooking, including curry leaves, coriander, asafetida, and green chilies. It tastes a bit like chutney but with a fresher flavor. This lassi is great for breakfast.
In addition to lassi, there are other variations of buttermilk available in India. Mattha, for instance, is a thin buttermilk often used in salty foods. It is made by frying yellow mustard seeds, curry leaves, and clarified cream (ghee) together and then stirring it into the buttermilk. It has a strong taste.
Another buttermilk variation is called neer, which is popular in South India. It is made by spicing buttermilk with ingredients commonly used in lassis, such as green chili, arhat, and coriander.
In conclusion, lassi and its variations are a popular beverage enjoyed by people all over the world.
Its versatility and simple production process make it an ideal choice for any occasion. Whether you prefer it sweet or salty, fruity or spicy, there is a lassi flavor that is sure to delight your taste buds.